Boliviab ex-president Anez arrested in ‘coup’ probe

LA PAZ (AFP): Bolivia’s former acting president Jeanine Anez was arrested Saturday on terrorism and s-edition charges over what her predecessor and politic-al rival Evo Morales denounced as a “coup” that unseated him.

Police were also rounding up former ministers who backed the conservative politician’s caretaker government, which was in place for a year after Mora-les fled the country in Nov. 2019 amid disputed elections, media reports said.

The arrests came months after Morales returned to Bolivia from exile on the back of a fresh election victory in October 2020 for the leftist Movement for Socialism (MAS) party he founded. The presidency and congress are now under the control of MAS.
“I inform the Bolivian people that Mrs. Jeanine Anez has already been apprehended and is currently in the hands of the police,” government minister Carlos Eduardo del Castillo wrote on Twitter and Facebook. Castillo congratulated the police for their “great work” in the “historic task of giving justice” to the Bolivian people.

Morales, for his part, demanded in a tweet that the “authors and accomplices” of what he denounced as a “coup d’etat” against him be “investigated and punished.”
Bolivia’s public prosecutor issued an arrest warrant Friday for Anez and others on charges of terrorism, sedition and conspiracy.

Anez tweeted a copy of the warrant with the response: “The political persecution has begun.”

She added the government was accusing her “of having participated in a coup d’etat that never happened.”